March 5, 2021

Rosie Loves Jack Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


Welcome to the Rosie Loves Jack Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon on March 1st, blogs across the web are featuring original content from Mel, as well as 10 chances to win the hardcover!

What I Wish I Had Known Before Starting My Debut Journey
by Mel Darbon

Having done an MA in Creative Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University I was fairly well versed in what to expect when I started out on my journey as a published author…or so I thought. The reality of dealing with everything that comes with the new book is very different, especially when you are suffering from imposter syndrome and the mere act of calling yourself a writer and actively pursuing a career in writing brings you out in a cold sweat of self-doubt and feeling a fraud. So here is a list of things I didn’t know about being a debut author, but wish I had.
 
Snatching time:
What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact I would get no time to write my second book and that I would be snatching moments late in the evening or on the train to an event to write that seventy-thousand-word novel that the publishers wanted in a few months’ time. I had no idea that all my energy would be taken up with everything but the writing. I had envisaged myself in my little attic room, alone, with not a festival, school visit, event, or blog tour in sight—all these to help publicise the first book. Did I really have to do all this? My MA course didn’t tell me that being a published writer meant you’d no longer have time to write!
 
Events:
Then you worry if you cut down on some of the promotion that no one will want to read your book if you’re not visible, and that you and your book will disappear without a trace. After all, you’ve got imposter syndrome. You start to feel the pressure and take on as many different school visits or events that you can, as they are helping to pass on your story and the message that you wanted to convey in writing it. That’s when you realise an event doesn’t just magically happen and that you won’t be able to talk freely and easily for an hour without any prep. The prep takes up hours of your time, especially if you’re a debut author, because no one has ever asked these questions before and you don’t want to look stupid, so you try and cover every angle. After that, you read your pages and pages of notes, several times, on the train up to Edinburgh, to give you confidence and calm your nerves, but you lose your snatched writing time. Of course, this gets better as you become more experienced, and by your next book you’ll have just one A4 piece of paper and not twenty. What you really need is to be able to hire someone to do all the PR for you…

Salaries – or lack of:
It’s a big shock to new writers how little they will get paid to do an event or school visit and are often expected to do things for free. You either have to pay your own costs to get there or pay upfront out of your own money. You do it because you’re a new author and your book needs readers and sales. Also, talking to the children, the very people you wrote the book for, is amazing and one of the most satisfying things an author can do. But after your tenth freebie you realise you’ve got to eat and pay the bills. It doesn’t stop you from feeling bad when you have to ask to be paid. I wish I’d known from the start about a wonderful organisation called Authors Aloud UK who organise all your events for you and guide you through those pitfalls.

Lack of attendance:
One thing I wish I’d known was to be prepared for the fact some events won’t be well attended and that it’s not necessarily your fault and doesn’t mean that everyone hates you or your book. It’s just that teenagers don’t want to come to the library on a freezing cold, wet night in January at six o’clock in the evening.

Blog tours:
Blog tours are invaluable to authors. We had learnt about these on my MA course and how important they were, as they help your book reach a much wider audience. The book bloggers are amazing in being passionate about your work. It’s well worth putting a lot of effort in to writing guest posts for blog tours, but little did I realise just how much time it can take to write about several different subjects. There goes book two editing time again, but then you realise it gives you valuable material to talk about at an event, so, head down and get writing!

The bad review:
We were told at my university not to take to heart any reviews that weren’t glowing, but what they didn’t tell us was that those reviews are the ones you won’t forget and will go over and over in your head and be the only ones you’ll ever remember. 

Editing, the art of compromise:
I did know that in the editing of my debut novel, I likely would have to sacrifice small sections, if that’s what my editor wanted, in order to fight for sections that you definitely don’t want to change. It’s all about compromise. What I didn’t realise was how many questions my editor might ask me. They look at everything—themes, the plot, characterisation—and push you to explain what or why you have done something. They pull your book apart and help you to put it back together again, leaving you to worry that if you take A out then subplot B will fall apart. A quick run through your book to sort a few quibbles? No, be prepared for the edit note agonies, which will of course, eventually make your novel ten times better than it was before.

Social Media:
No one told me that half my life would be spent networking on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The pressure is intense, and you have to learn to manage your time or you’d never write another book again. It’s a great way to spread news about your novel, but you have to get a balance and realise that you don’t have to “like” every last tweet, from every last author you follow!

My Tribe:
I’ve left the best ’til last, as this is also the most important bit, that if I’d known would have taken all the fear out of everything else. The children’s book industry is the best place to work, without a doubt. Everyone across the board is kind, supportive and encouraging, from the people you work with, fellow writers, your agent and everyone you connect with at your publishers, as they are all right behind you looking after you and making sure your book can be the best it possibly can. It feels like you’ve come home, that you’ve become a member of a very special club. The whole experience is a series of highlights, each one better than the one before. I wouldn’t swap it for the world.

You definitely cannot expect to know or be prepared for everything you experience as a debut author, but these experiences are what allow you to learn and grow, and hopefully will get a little easier with a second book and beyond. 

*****

“The author stays out of Rosie's way, successfully depicting her protagonist as a person, not a puppet or a platform. The other characters populating the book are realistic, with a striking range of personality traits. The plot is so engrossing that the book is almost impossible to put down. Yes, Rosie loves Jack, and readers are going to love Rosie.” —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Fall in love with sixteen-year old Rosie, a girl with Down syndrome who’s fighting for little freedoms, tolerance, and love. A stunning, beautifully insightful debut YA novel from Mel Darbon.
 
“An enthralling story of resolve and grit... a moving and uplifting novel.” –The Guardian

"They can't send you away. What will we do? We need us. I stop your angry, Jack. And you make me strong. You make me Rosie."

Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they're separated, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even defy her parents’ orders and run away from home. Even struggle across London and travel to Brighton on her own, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though people might think a girl like Rosie, who has Down syndrome, could never survive on her own.

Introducing a strong and determined protagonist with Down syndrome, debut author Mel Darbon gives readers an underrepresented but much-needed point of view with a voice-driven, heartfelt story of finding your place an often big and intimidating world.
Mel Darbon spent a large part of her childhood inventing stories to keep her autistic brother happy on car journeys. She won’t mention the time spent with him standing by level crossings waiting for the InterCity 125 to go past, as she wouldn’t want to be labelled a train spotter. Life took her in many different directions working as a theatre designer and freelance artist, as well as teaching young adults with learning disabilities and running creative workshops for teenage mums. She moved to Bath in 2014 with her husband and their dog, Alfie. Rosie Loves Jack is her debut book.

Follow MelTwitter | Instagram

  • 1 winner will receive a finished copy of Rosie Loves Jack
  • Check out the other tour stops for more chances to win!
  • US/Canada only
  • Ends 11:59pm ET on 3/21
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
 
 
 
 

Book Blast + Giveaway: Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon



Rosie Loves Jack
Author: Mel Darbon
Release Date: March 1, 2021
Publisher : Peachtree Publishing Company
Language : English
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 168263289X
ISBN-13 : 978-1682632895

Description:

Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they're separated, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even defy her parents’ orders and run away from home. Even struggle across London and travel to Brighton on her own, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though people might think a girl like Rosie, who has Down syndrome, could never survive on her own.

Introducing a strong and determined protagonist with Down syndrome, debut author Mel Darbon gives readers an underrepresented but much-needed point of view with a voice-driven, heartfelt story of finding your place an often big and intimidating world.
 

Praise for ROSIE LOVES JACK:

“The plot is so engrossing that the book is almost impossible to put down. Yes, Rosie loves Jack, and readers are going to love Rosie.” ―Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“An enthralling story of resolve and grit... a moving and uplifting novel.” ―The Guardian (UK)

You can purchase Rosie Loves Jack at the following Retailers:
 
Photo Content from Mel Darbon

Mel Darbon spent a large part of her childhood inventing stories to keep her autistic brother happy on car journeys. She won’t mention the time spent with him standing by level crossings waiting for the InterCity 125 to go past, as she wouldn’t want to be labelled a train spotter. Life took her in many different directions working as a theatre designer and freelance artist, as well as teaching young adults with learning disabilities and running creative workshops for teenage mums. She moved to Bath in 2014 with her husband and their dog, Alfie. Rosie Loves Jack is her debut book.
 
Author Links:

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

 
 
 
 
 

March 4, 2021

Secret Life of a Hollywood Love & Sex Addict Blog Tour: Dream Cast + Giveaway

 

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the SECRET LIFE OF A HOLLYWOOD LOVE & SEX ADDICT by Brianne Davis Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

SECRET LIFE OF A HOLLYWOOD LOVE & SEX ADDICT
Author: Brianne Davis
Pub. Date: February 12, 2021
Publisher: Just B Productions
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 312

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, TBDBookshop.org

Read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited membership!

"A powerful, raw and vulnerable read.”—Olivia Munn, actress, The Newsroom

"Unflinchingly candid. Unspeakably sexy. And oh, so curiously entertaining."—Steve Antin, Golden Globe winner, Burlesque

Imagine if Sex and the City's Samantha discovered she was an addict and her drug of choice was MEN. Go on a hilarious, inspiring, and at times, shocking journey as Roxanne conquers her fears, changes her ways, gets closer to healthy relationships and begins loving herself a little more each day.

After years of working as an image-obsessed actress in Hollywood, Roxanne finds herself at rock bottom from a disease that is anything but glamorous.

In her first year of recovery, Roxanne has to take accountability for her past. From tales of being mistaken for a prostitute at the Hotel Bel-Air to botching a threesome attempt with an A-list celebrity, she must face the truth about herself and stop playing the victim.

Roxanne's odyssey of using sex and love—as destructive and beguiling as an alcoholic reaching for a bottle—is a veritable rollercoaster of ups and downs, laughter and tears, and a true testament to facing your absolute truth and conquering your fears. 

Secret Life of a Hollywood Sex & Love Addict has the vibrant, relatable vibe of chick lit, the soul-baring honesty of a memoir and the wisdom of a self-help book.

So take a front-row seat into this complex world and the 10 RULES Roxanne learns along the way.

“Actress Brianne Davis takes us behind the glitz and glamour for a brutally candid, no-holds-barred look at Tinseltown’s forever-favorite addiction: sex. You’ll cry... and laugh... as you join her harrowing and hilarious ride to sex-addiction sobriety.” —Spencer Beck, former editor-in-chief of LA Confidential, editor-in-chief Los Angeles and contributing editor at Vanity Fair

“Brianne tells the story of navigating a world where sex and beauty are commodities to be used and abused by those who have the power. Like Sex and the City, this is a tale of finding one’s self and reasserting a true feminist ideal: that your destiny is yours to create.” —Lucy Danziger, New York Times best-selling author of The Nine Rooms of Happiness and former editor-in-chief of SELF

“It takes a lot of courage to do what Brianne is doing in this book. To mirror her life into Roxanne is not only fearless, but wildly entertaining. It’s a world with so much darkness, yet Brianne has not only found the humor but the story to bring it to life because lets face it, we all want to know more.” —Jana Kramer, singer, actress on One Tree Hill, and New York Times best-selling author of The Good Fight 

Everyone asks me if I ever want to play Roxanne since I've been a working actress for the last 20 years. I always have the same response, “Hell NO!” I have no desire to go back into the addiction of my past and act it out again. No, thank you! When I was writing my book, Secret Life of a Hollywood Sex & Love Addict, I never truly pictured myself in the part. I just wrote from my experience, strength and hope. I was doing my best to keep my head out of it. I really wrote it from my heart. When I think of my dream cast, I genuinely get so excited. I can envision every character, every scene.

Roxanne would be the best character to cast. I think it would be necessary to cast her with an actress you would never envision having a sex and love addiction. I would love to have Dakota Fanning or Shay Mitchell play her. I truly believe that anyone can be a "Roxanne.” She is very universal in her struggles with relationships, intimacy and self-love. She has so many characteristics that we are ashamed of. I think the actress playing her would get to go on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Dr. Kath would be another amazing character played by either Octavia Spencer or Jane Fonda. I know they are both so different as actresses, but both would imbue that character with a mother-earth, no bullshit grounded in reality vibe. I am a huge fan of both actresses and would die for one of them to play the insightful Bohemian therapist to Roxanne’s mixed bag of traumas.

However, I would love to play Alice, Roxanne’s sponsor. I feel I could bring a lot of depth to Alice. She looks sweet as pie on the outside, but underneath she is a pitfall with her sponsoring position. She is really good at telling the god-honest truth to Roxanne and calling her on her crap. I’m like Alice in real life as a sponsor, so it would be fun to play a character already through her withdrawal, have 5 years of sobriety, and in a healthy relationship.

Coolgirl would need to be played by an actress that seriously looks like the coolest chic ever. The girl that every guy wants to be with, and every girl wants to be. There needs to be an air of an enigma around the character. She's a costar and actress friend of Roxanne, but instead of going through the program of SLAA, she chooses the typical Hollywood side chick route. I picture Zoe Saldana, Yaya DaCosta, or Ashley Madekwe.

I would love Tattoogirl to be played by Jaime Chung or Gemma Chan. But the make-up department would have to give them full-sleeve tattoos to play the part. Tattoogirl is the urban, streetwise top Hollywood stylist with all the swagger but none of the self-confidence. You would never picture this woman losing herself over a guy on Instagram for not DMing her back.

Brianne Davis is a Hollywood actress, writer, producer and director. She can be seen as an actress in Lucifer, Casual, True Blood, the History Channel’s series Six, and the film Jarhead, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Brianne has produced three films with her production company, Give & Take Productions. She has directed two films, The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story and Deadly Signal. 

Brianne has over a decade of recovery as a sex and love addict. Inspired by her life experience, she is the host of the popular personal journals podcast Secret Life. Her article “I’m a Sex and Love Addict. Here’s How I Realized I Had a Problem.” was published in Huff Post Personal’s March 2020 issue and received over a million views. Brianne lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Mark Gantt and son, Davis.

Subscribe to Brianne’s
Mail List to Receive:
* New release dates and news
* Giveaways and Author Book Recommendations
* Book Tours and Appearance info
* And so much more!

Secret Life Website | Brianne’s Website | Brianne's Twitter | Secret Life Podcast Twitter | Brianne's Instagram | Secret Life Instagram | TikTok | Brianne's Facebook | Secret Life Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

(2) winners will win a finished copy of SECRET LIFE OF A HOLLYWOOD LOVE & SEX ADDICT - US Only.

(2) winners will win an ebook of SECRET LIFE OF A HOLLYWOOD LOVE & SEX ADDICT - International.


 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

3/1/2021

Rockstar Book Tours

Kickoff Post/Excerpt

3/1/2021

Jaime's World

Excerpt

3/2/2021

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

3/2/2021

Jaimerockstarbooktours

Instagram Post

3/3/2021

BookHounds

Playlist

3/3/2021

@bookhounds

Instagram Post

3/4/2021

Living in a Bookworld

Playlist

3/4/2021

A Dream Within A Dream

Dream Cast

3/5/2021

Drunk On Pop

The Top 5 No-Go movies for Sex and Love Addicts

3/5/2021

Drunk On Pop

Instagram Post

3/5/2021

Books A-Brewin'

Excerpt

3/5/2021

booksabrewin

Instagram Post

 Week Two:

3/8/2021

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt

3/8/2021

@kellyatx

Instagram Post

3/8/2021

Westveil Publishing

Excerpt

3/8/2021

thewestveilarchives

Instagram Post

3/9/2021

BookishKelly2020

Excerpt/Instagram Post

3/10/2021

Becky on Books

Review

3/10/2021

Becky on Books

Instagram Post

3/11/2021

Riddle’s Reviews

Review

3/11/2021

Riddle’s Reviews

Instagram Post

3/11/2021

Life of a Female Bibliophile

Review

3/11/2021

lifeofafemalebibliophile

Instagram Post

3/12/2021

KaysLitish

Review

3/12/2021

KaysLitish

Instagram Post





Stalked by Secrets Blog Tour: Excerpt

 STALKED BY SECRETS

Author: Deborah Fletcher Mello


Book Description: 

 

If she wants to know his secrets…


This time it could be fatal.


Journalist Neema Kamau will risk anything to uncover the truth. She’ll even get close to politician Davis Black in order to investigate his possible organized crime connections. But when her professional interest turns personal, Neema knows that she risks losing the story—and the man—if she tells Davis the truth. And the stalker who’s circling them both might rob her of the chance to make things right…


From Harlequin Romantic Suspense: Danger. Passion. Drama.


To Serve and Seduce

Book 1: Seduced by the Badge

Book 2: Tempted by the Badge

Book 3: Reunited by the Badge

Book 4: Stalked by Secrets


Get cozy this winter with romances to move you. That Harlequin Feeling.


Price: $5.75


On sale date: March 9, 2021 (eBook on sale March 1, 2021)


ISBN: 9781335628886

Add STALKED BY SECRETS by Deborah Fletcher Mello to Goodreads.


“Neema! Neema!”

Neema Kamau found her father’s voice especially irritating as he called out from behind her. She stole a quick glance at her wristwatch. She was already late for her job at the Chicago Tribune and she didn’t need a lengthy lecture about something that really wasn’t important to her. She thought about ignoring him but knew that would only make the lecture that came later even more unbearable.

She turned slowly, meeting the look he was giving her head-on. He stood there, hands locked tight against his waist, his expression stern. “Yes, Baba?”

“Are you coming to the restaurant tonight?” Adamu Kamau queried. “We could use the help.”

The restaurant he referred to—the Awaze Grill—was the family business, and it was his pride and joy. Born and raised in Kenya, her father had immigrated to the United States when he’d been in his early twenties. A naturalized citizen with a doctorate in mathematics, he had been one of the most prolific analytical minds to ever work for the Pentagon. But a massive heart attack ten years ago had shifted his priorities and redirected the lives of his wife and children.

The move to Chicago had been the first big change, the whole family leaving DC to follow him to Illinois. It was only recently that Neema had realized her parents opening their family restaurant was truly a dream come true for the two of them.

The building on West Reynolds Street had been purchased outright, the couple dipping into their life savings to make it their own. After renovations, Awaze Grill was born, featuring the best recipes of their east African culture. For her family, it was a second home of sorts. For her parents, the restaurant quelled any feelings of emptiness they had for their African culture in America. Being able to share that culture with others made everyone feel like family to them. For Neema, working when she was needed rewarded the gratitude she often felt for all her parents had done for her.

Raised according to her parents’ Kenyan culture, Neema knew that family was central to everything. Children were expected to honor their parents and fulfill any obligations asked of them. Saying no to her father was not an option, nor would she have even considered it.

“Yes, Baba.” Neema nodded. “If you need me to work, I’ll be there.”

He nodded his balding head. “Also, I need you to stop by that alderman’s office. You know the one.”

“Alderman Black?”

“Yes, him. He needs to do something about the drug activity on the corner. It isn’t good for the neighborhood, and the police aren’t doing anything to help with the situation.”

“I sent him a letter last week, Baba. We should probably give him a little time to respond.”

Her father shook his head. “No. You need to follow up in person. To be sure he understands how big the problem is. These young boys are getting out of hand. One of them cursed me yesterday. Outside of my own front door! No respect! No respect at all!” The old man threw his hands up in frustration.

Neema shuttered a soft sigh. “Yes, Baba. I’ll try to run by his office on my lunch hour.”

Her father gave her a nod then stepped forward to give her a kiss on the cheek. “You’re a good daughter, Neema. You have a good day.”

Neema smiled. “You too, Baba!”

Once she was out the door, Neema sighed with audible relief. It hadn’t been nearly as painful as she had anticipated. In fact, she was feeling slightly guilty for imagining a doomsday lecture from her father. She’d been certain her late-night hours the previous evening would have had her father on a rampage. It wasn’t often that she agreed to dinner and drinks with her coworkers, specifically because of how her parents reacted when she did. It was one thing when her shift at the news

room required her to be out all night. It was something wholeheartedly different when she was out all night socializing. She was surprised her father hadn’t mentioned it at all.

Much like her father, Neema had moments when she herself overreacted, having to bite her tongue to keep from being snarky. The morning had begun to feel like one of those days, other things on her mind. Like her stagnant career and the fact that she saw no hope of things improving.

Admittedly, she had promised her father to use her lunch hour to reach out to their district alderman. But, truth be told, Neema had no interest in trying too hard. She knew who Davis Black was. Everyone knew the city alderman and his family. The Black name was synonymous with most everything that happened in the Chicago judicial system. His father was the police superintendent. His mother was a federal court judge, and all his siblings were gainfully employed cops, attorneys or civic leaders. They didn’t just make or enforce the law. Most of the Chicago community considered them to be the law.

For months, Neema had been angling for a story on the Black family. Something that would carry her byline and merit national attention. She dreamed of a Pulitzer Prize and the accolades of a breaking news story. It would validate her decision to forgo a career in medicine, like her parents had wanted, for the degree in investigative journalism that she had achieved. It would show that she’d made the right decision following the one and only time she’d defied them.



Get cozy this winter with romance to move you. Experience That Harlequin Feeling. Try two FREE ebooks at ThatHarlequinFeeling.com!

Deborah Fletcher Mello has been writing since forever and can’t imagine herself doing anything else. Her first romance novel, Take Me to Heart, earned her a 2004 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Best New Author, and in 2009, she won an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for her ninth novel, Tame a Wild Stallion. Born and raised in Connecticut, Deborah now considers home to be wherever the moment moves her.


Author Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/172159.Deborah_Fletcher_Mello 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebbMelloWrites/ 


Buy Links:

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335628886_stalked-by-secrets.html 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335628886 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stalked-Secrets-Serve-Seduce-4/dp/1335628886 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stalked-by-secrets-deborah-fletcher-mello/1137495110 

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Stalked-by-Secrets-9781335628886/780758333 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/stalked-by-secrets/id1527864114 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Deborah_Fletcher_Mello_Stalked_by_Secrets?id=1bz3DwAAQBAJ 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/stalked-by-secrets